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    (Redirected from Fag)

    Content Warning: This page is about the f slur as a reclaimed identity, not as a slur itself. If this word is triggering to you, please be cautious about viewing this page.

    The proposed faggot flag.
    PluralStarlets alternate flag.
    The genderfag flag.

    Faggot, often shortened to fag, is a usually pejorative term used primarily to refer to gay or "effeminate" men. The slur has been reclaimed by some, but not all, queer cis men and transmasculine individuals as well as some queer cis women, transfeminine individuals, and unaligned non-binary and genderqueer individuals. Faggot can be used as a modifier for genders, gender modalities, sexual orientations, and aesthetics and aesthetic attractions, such as girlfag, transfag, dykefag, and artfag.

    Besides it's reclaimed use, it should not be used on any individual, especially those who have not reclaimed this term. No individual should use the slur unless they themselves have the right to reclaim it.

    Identities

    Genderfag

    Genderfag or faggender is a term for vincian or otherwise achillean individuals who have a gender connected to their attraction towards men, or feel masculine because of that attraction. This can be considered an orientationgender, as it is based around attraction, however it uses the word fag in a reclaiming manner for empowerment.

    Etymology

    The most commonly recognized etymological origin of the word faggot is the Latin word fascis or "bundle of wood."[1]

    The term has been used in English since the late 16th century as an abusive term for women, particularly old widowed women, who sometimes worked as "faggot-gatherers," collecting sticks. [2] The reference to gay men may be derived from the sense of "something awkward to be carried," comparable to the use of the word "baggage" as a pejorative term for old individuals in general as well as social outcasts, or from the application of this term to women, as many slang terms for gay men are derived from terms for women such as "queen" or "sissy."[3]

    There is an urban legend that the modern slang meaning developed from the standard meaning of faggot as "a bundle of sticks for burning" such as in burning at the stake or other punishment. However, this is unsubstantiated, and the emergence of the slang term in 20th century American English is unrelated to historical death penalties for homosexuality.[4]

    History

    The word faggot with regard to gay men was used as early as 1914 in A Vocabulary of Criminal Slang, with Some Examples of Common Usages,[5] which listed the following example under the word:

    All the fagots [sic] (sissies) will be dressed in drag at the ball tonight.

    The shortened form "fag" emerged sometime in 1921.[6]

    Reclamation

    While some gay men used the term controversially to purposely cause outrage, most famously ACT UP activist Larry Kramer with his 1978 book Faggots,[7], the first attempt at reclaiming the term occurred at the 1990 New York Pride Parade with the anonymous pamphlet "Queers Read This!"[8] The 1990s is also when terms like "fag hag," or a straight-passing woman who hangs out with gay men,[9] and "transfag"[10] first emerged.

    The internet has been important to the reclamation of the term. From 2017 to 2020, the topic of reclamation was popular in online opinion and editorial pieces,[11][12] some positive or less wary of reclamation.[13][14] A study of discourse around faggot on Twitter from 2019 suggests that some queer cis and trans men, queer cis women, trans women, and genderqueer individuals are comfortable self-identifying as faggot.[15] In addition, many surveyed were comfortable with the use of the term by queer individuals, and most believed that non-queer and non-trans individuals should not use the term.

    Backlash

    Starting in the 1980s, the term became associated with brutal violence, including murder, against gay men, perpetrators frequently quoted using the term before committing violence.[16] By the early 1990s, the slogan "God Hates Fags" had become a popular anti-LGBTQ sentiment used at rallies outside of sexual health clinics and pride parades. In the early 2000s, the hate group the Westboro Baptist Church began using the slogan as their URL address.[17]

    In the early 21st century, the use of fag and gay as synonyms for "boring" and "tacky," particularly among individuals under 25, led to the study of "fag discourse" and the release, of the book Dude, You're a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School.[18] According to the interviewees in the book, the use of the word "fag" was not an attack on gay identity but on boys who were not assertive and did not have a support network to protect them. By the 2010s, the controversial image board site 4chan was using the term in a similar way to refer to new members and to mock others regardless of sexual orientation.[19]

    The term also began to be recognized as being used pejoratively against butches in the 21st century.[20]

    The term genderfag was coined by Tumblr user jothfriend, however their account is deactivated, thus the original post of coining is unable to be found.

    Culture

    The reclamation of the term is categorized as "restricted" reclamation.[21][22] Compared to the reclamation of queer, where queer has been reclaimed as positive and inclusive, faggot has been reclaimed as a mockery of its derogatory usage specifically for the in-group its usage has created. The use of faggot amongst self-identified fags and gay men can be seen as "mock politeness."

    The term "fag hag" is outdated and has been replaced by "girlfag," which applies to both straight and queer women and women-aligned individuals.[23] However, the term "dykefag," a combination of "boydyke" and "girlfag," is more popular.[24][25]

    The term "transfag" has been applied retroactively to some transmasculine activists who were active in the 1990s, in particular Lou Sullivan.[26] Some non-cisgender individuals use the term faggender or genderfag as a gender identity, especially men-aligned individuals attracted to men or other men-aligned individuals.[27]

    Flags

    While there is no agreed-upon faggot pride symbol or flag, a faggot flag was created by Tumblr user effeminancyboy on December 2, 2020.[28] The flag is intended for cis and trans MLM and NBLMs, and transfeminine individuals only. The dark purple of the flag represents femininity, the purple transfeminine individuals, the pink stripe sexuality, the peach stripe love and acceptance, the pale yellow stripe gender identity, the teal stripe MLMs and NBLMs, and the blue stripe masculinity.

    A third faggot flag was created by FANDOM user PluralStarlets on May 29, 2021. It is meant to be a non-exclusive alternative to the first faggot flag. The rainbow represents the entire LGBTQIA2+ community. The lambda symbol has been used since the 1970s as a symbol of gay rights.

    The genderfag flag was coined by Tumblr user jothfriend, however their account is deactivated, thus the original post of coining is unable to be found. It has no confirmed meaning.

    References

    1. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.etymonline.com/word/faggot Online Etymology Dictionary entry on f*ggot. ]
    2. [https://web.archive.org/web/http://www.oed.com/viewdictionaryentry/Entry/67623 Oxford English Dictionary entry on f*ggot. ]
    3. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.etymonline.com/word/faggot Online Etymology Dictionary (again). ]
    4. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.etymonline.com/word/faggot Online Etymology Dictionary (again). ]
    5. Archived copy of A Vocabulary of Criminal Slang, Louis E. Jackson and C. R. Hellyer, City Detective Department of Portland, Oregon.
    6. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.etymonline.com/word/faggot Online Etymology Dictionary (again). ]
    7. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.jstor.org/stable/44075135 "The Exorcism of Language: Reclaimed Derogatory Terms and Their Limits," Gregory Coles, College English. ]
    8. [https://web.archive.org/web/http://www.qrd.org/qrd/misc/text/queers.read.this Archived pamphlet "Queers Read This!" (Warning: Retrieved from older website, may be unsecured.) ]
    9. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.jstor.org/stable/2580489 "Insult and Inclusion: The Term F*g Hag and Gay Male 'Community,'" Dawne Moon, Social Forces. ]
    10. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.digitaltransgenderarchive.net/files/k06987785 Digital Trangender Archive entry on a "TransF*g" button from the 1990s. ]
    11. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2018/08/25/is-it-ever-ok-to-say-fag/ "Is it ever okay to say the word 'f*g?,'" James Page, Pink News. ]
    12. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/lifestyle/article/faggot-meaning "Reclaiming the word 'f*ggot' is a tricky business," Philip Ellis, GQ. ]
    13. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/2017/8/02/21-words-queer-community-has-reclaimed-and-some-we-havent#media-gallery-media-6 "21 Words the Queer Community Has Reclaimed (and Some We Haven't)," Alexander Cheves, Advocate. ]
    14. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/09/lgbt-gay-men-slur-homophobia "Why I'm reclaiming the homophobic slur I used to fear," André Wheeler, The Guardian. ]
    15. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://scripties.uba.uva.nl/search?id=696515 "Who Can Say F*ggot? A Two-Part Study on Online Slur Reclamation," Zach Gordon, Universiteit van Amsterdam. ]
    16. [https://web.archive.org/web/http://link.bu.edu/portal/Wimmin-wimps--wallflowers--an-encyclopaedic/vAHE6xXzqUs/ Wimmin, Wimps & Wallflowers: An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Gender and Sexual Orientation Bias in the United States, Philip H. Herbst, Intercultural Press. (Warning: Older site, may be unsecured.) ]
    17. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.jstor.org/stable/44075135 "The Exorcism of Language" (again). ]
    18. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520271487/dude-youre-a-fag Dude, You're A F*g, 2nd edition, C. J. Pascoe, University of California Press. ]
    19. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/ICWSM/article/view/14134 "4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community," Michael Bernstein et alia, Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media. ]
    20. [https://web.archive.org/web/http://link.bu.edu/portal/Wimmin-wimps--wallflowers--an-encyclopaedic/vAHE6xXzqUs/ Wimmin, Wimps & Wallflowers (again). (Older site.) ]
    21. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.jstor.org/stable/44075135 "The Exorcism of Language" (again). ]
    22. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://scripties.uba.uva.nl/search?id=696515 "Who Can Say F*ggot?" (again). ]
    23. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.worldcat.org/title/girlfag-a-life-told-in-sex-and-musicals/oclc/858621985&referer=brief_results Girlf*g: A Life Told in Sex and Musicals, Janet W. Hardy, Beyond Binary Books. ]
    24. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://arco-pluris.tumblr.com/post/177660173032/fagdyke-or-dykefag-someone-who-is-mutually-fag Tumblr post on d*kef*g. ]
    25. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://lgbtqiarchive.tumblr.com/post/637653259594678272/dykefag-fagdyke-flag Tumblr post with a d*kef*g flag. ]
    26. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://www.bloomsburycollections.com/book/reclaiming-genders-transsexual-grammars-at-the-fin-de-siecle/ch3-portrait-of-a-transfag-drag-hag-as-a-young-man "Chapter 3. Portrait of a Transf*g Drag Hag as a Young Man: The Activist Career of Louis G. Sullivan," Susan Stryker, Reclaiming Genders: Transsexual Grammars at the Fin de Siècle, Bloomsbury Academic. ]
    27. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://arco-pluris.tumblr.com/post/635796667778678784/jothfriend-genderfag-flag-hi-so-i-decided-to Tumblr post discussing genderf*g. ]
    28. [https://web.archive.org/web/https://strawberrymalt.tumblr.com/post/636423165983260672 Tumblr post announcing the f*ggot flag. ]
    1. https://web.archive.org/web/https://variant-archive.tumblr.com/search/genderfag
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